The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

Far right protesters gather at Auschwitz during annual camp liberation commemoration

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Oświęcim – Dozens of Polish far right nationalists gathered at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland on Sunday to protest at the same time as officials and survivors marked the 74th anniversary of the camp’s liberation in an annual ceremony.

The two parties gathered in different parts of the camp, now an open-air museum, and did not encounter each other. It was the first time the far right has held a protest at Auschwitz at the annual event, which is also International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day.

At the official ceremony on Sunday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and other government officials were joined in prayer by some of the last remaining survivors of the death camp.

In another location at the site, far right protesters wrapped in Polish flags, some stamped with the words “Polish Holocaust,” laid flowers and sang the Polish national anthem.

“The Jewish nation and Israel is doing everything to change the history of the Polish nation,” said Piotr Rybak of the Polish Independence Movement, who led Sunday’s protest. “Polish patriots cannot allow this.”

Asked by an opposition politician on Twitter how long it would take the government to react to such situations, Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski wrote: “React to what? To the fact that someone is not in their right mind and blames all the evil in this world and his frustrations on a particular nation?”

 “If you are trying to blame this government for antisemitism in the heads of seriously crazy (I believe) fools, it is indecent and unwise,” he added.